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Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, & Special Education

The department offers programs which are innovative, NCATE accredited and promote excellence in the special education field.

Our teaching credential programs include a Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential, an Education Specialist Credential and a Bilingual Spanish or Hmong Authorization.

At the graduate level, the department offers Master of Art programs in Education with options in Early Childhood Education, Reading/Language Arts, and Multilingual Multicultural Education. We also offer a Master of Arts in Special Education.

Department Chair and Staff

Imelda Basurto
Chair, Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual and Special Education  
Office: Education Building, ED 250
Phone: 559.278.0250

Carmen Chapman
Administrative Support Coordinator II
Office: Education Building, ED 250
Phone: 559.278.0250

Statement of Vision, Mission, and Beliefs


To empower education professionals, schools, and communities.


The mission of the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education is to engage and holistically support our teacher candidates and graduate students in developing competencies, knowledge, and resources to equitably serve our broader communities.


  1. We believe in inclusive education and that all means all students.
  1. We believe our diverse abilities, backgrounds, cultures, languages, and literacies are assets.
  1. We believe in creating developmentally appropriate educational experiences that encourage development of the whole person through deep questioning, research, and reflection.
  1. We believe in the discovery and advancement of new knowledge through collaborative inquiry, innovation, and research.
  1. We believe in engaging our broader communities as partners to maintain open communication, build trust, and foster relationships with students, educators, and families.

Department Faculty

Basurto, Imelda: Chair, LEBSE Department and Coordinator, Single Subject Credential Program

Imelda Basurto

Office: Education Building, Rm263
Phone: 559.278.0285

Bennett, Lisa

Dr. Lisa Bennett

Office: Education Building, Rm 265
Phone: 559.278.0243
Ph.D. Education
M.A. Education
Multiple Subject Credential
B.A. Humanities

Areas of Expertise:
Literacy, Inquiry/Action Research, Reflective Practice, Qualitative Research Methods

Billen, Monica

 Monica Billen
Office: Education Building, Rm 259
Phone: 559.278.0267

Ph.D. in Education, emphasis in Literacy Studies
M.A. in Teacher Education
B.S. in Elementary Education

Areas of Expertise:
Early literacy, literacy teaching, reading and writing instruction, teacher preparation, pre-service teacher development, teacher reflection, technology and social media in teacher preparation, photographic reflections, qualitative research methodologies, photo analysis

Chen, Feiyan

Feiyan Chen
Office: Education Building, Rm 267
Phone: 559.278.0222

Doctor of Philosophy (Early Childhood Education)
Master of Education (Early Childhood)
Bachelor of Arts
Graduate Diploma of Education (Early Childhood)

Areas of Expertise:
Early childhood education and development
Social-emotional development
Cultural-historical theory
Visual methodology

Coy, Kimberly: Coordinator, Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

Kimberly Coy
Office: Education Building, Rm 357
Phone: 559.278.0724

B.A. University of Washington
M.A.T. Goucher College
Ph. D. Washington State University

Areas of Expertise:
Special Education, Mild to Moderate Disabilities, Universal Design for Learning, Research into Online or Digital Learning

Garnett, William : Coordinator, Special Education Graduate Program

William Garnett
Office: Education Building, Rm 341
Phone: 559.278.0448

Goff, Maria Hernandez: Coordinator, Reading/Language Arts Graduate Program

Dr. Maria Hernandez Goff
Office: Education Building, Rm 347
Phone: 559.278.0327

Hart, Steve

Steve Hart
Office: Education Building, Rm247
Phone: 559.278.0319

BS Elementary Education, Kutztown University, Pennsylvania
MA Reading, Language & Literacy Development, College of William & Mary, Virginia
PhD Reading Education, University of South Florida

Areas of Expertise:
Adolescent Literacy
Critical Literacy
Service-Learning Pedagogy

Herrera, Luz

Dr. Luz Herrera
Office: Education Building, Rm 249
Phone: 559.278.0019

Horsley, Heather: Coordinator,  Multiple Subject Credential Program

Dr. Heather Horsley
Office: Education Building, Rm 353
Phone: 559.278.0119

Huerta, Teresa: Coordinator, Multilingual Multicultural Education Graduate Program

Teresa Huerta

Office: Education Building, Rm253
Phone: 559.278.0364
Curriculum Vita

Lopez, Ana Soltero: Coordinator, Bilingual Authorization Program (BAP)

Dr. Ana Soltero Lopez
Office: Education Building, Rm 431
Phone: 559.278.0282

Low, David

David Low
Office: Education Building, Rm 269
Phone: 559.278.0208

PhD, University of Pennsylvania
MA, New York University
BA, University of Arizona

Areas of Expertise:
Literacy, Secondary English Language Arts, Practitioner Research, Critical Literacy, Multimodality and Visual Literacy, Critical Multicultural Analysis of Children's and YA Literature, Comics/Sequential Art/Graphic Novels in Education

Link to Dr. Low's Faculty Page

Mathis, Catherine


Office: Education Building, Rm 242
Phone: 559.278.0228

McDonald, Cheryl: Coordinator, Education Specialist Credential Program 

Cheryl McDonald
Office: Education Building, Rm 359
Phone: 559.278.0412

B.A. Early Childhood, California State University, Fresno
M.A. Special Education [with distinction], California State University, Fresno

Areas of Expertise:
Mild-moderate disabilities; co-teaching; inclusion

Powell, Dana

Dana Powell
Office: Education Building, Rm343
Phone: 559.278.0288

Ph.D Special Education

Areas of Expertise:
Classroom Management
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Vang, Tony

Anthony Vang
Office: Education Building, Rm273
Phone: 559.278.0284

Doctor of Education
1990 -University of San Francisco

Areas of Expertise:
International Multicultural Education and Second Language Acquisition

Wahleithner, Juliet

Juliet Wahleithner

Office: Education Building, Rm 271
Phone: 559.278.0219
Link to Dr. Wahleithner's Faculty Page

Ph.D., Education, September 2013
University of California, Davis
Area: Language, Literacy, & Culture
Designated Emphasis: Writing, Rhetoric, & Composition Studies
M.A., Education, January 2010
University of California, Davis
Area: Language & Literacy
California Single Subject Teaching Credential, English, May 2002
Subject: English
Project Impact, San Joaquin County Office of Education
B.A., English, History Minor, March 1999
University of California, Davis

Areas of Expertise:
Literacy development at the secondary level
Teaching of writing
Teacher development
Teacher inquiry
Education evaluation

Wu, Pei-Ying: Fansler Chair, Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center

Dr. Pei-Ying Wu
Office: Education Building, Rm 25A
Phone: 559.278.0052